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Bayesian fishable biomass dynamics models incorporating fished area and relative fish density

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Fisheries typically experience large changes over time in fishing effort. The size of the area fished may also change substantially over time, mimicking the trend in fishing effort, and may have major effects on the population dynamics and fishing process. We extend a biomass dynamics model to incorporate fished area and relative fish density in fished and unfished areas. The fishable population is defined as those individuals in the fished area and those that are sufficiently close to the fished area that they could potentially move into fished area during the fishing season. We estimate fishable biomass using three models assuming different level of population mixing between fished and unfished areas (i.e., partial mixing, full mixing, and no mixing). The models are implemented within a hierarchical Bayesian framework. Model performance is explored using simulations, and the approach is illustrated using logbook data for two tiger prawn species in Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery. The partial mixing model that involves estimating a mixing parameter performs better than the models that assume no or full mixing. The methods could be applied to other fisheries where the area fished has changed substantially over the history of the fishery.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship, Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia. 2: CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship, Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia.

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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